"Elegant, surprising and clever, this self-promotional site uses striking images and bold typography to showcase work. Unselfconscious, yet meticulous, the design is striking, while it lets the work speak for itself." —juror Liz Danzico
"Simple, elegant, fast and full of great content. What more could you ask for from an agency site?" —juror Jon McVey
Overview: In its first five years of business, Firstborn redesigned its site every year—not only to maintain a fresh look but as an outlet to experiment with the latest technologies and forward-thinking designs. As its portfolio grew, a more usable and practical design followed that lasted five solid years. During its tenth year, having completed more than 400 projects, Firstborn redesigned its site again. With a huge content management system, a relatively flat hierarchy, intelligent cross-linking and a visual design that accommodates large screens, the current incarnation of the site features 100+ pieces, with a framework that allows for another 100+ to be added.
• Taking five months to complete, the number of internal hours equated to almost $600,000.
• Each of the 115 projects have an average of 6 screenshots each (690 screenshots).
• The black of the background is actually 90% black so the contrast is less harsh.
Comments by Dan LaCivita and Michael Ferdman:
What would you do differently if you could start the project over? "I'm not sure that we'd do a whole lot that much differently. If—and that's a big 'if'—we had the luxury, I would put a few more programmers on it to help speed it along and also add in some more features, that we've now saved for Phase II. But, given the fact that there are 40 of us, it makes it hard to put a larger team on it since we also obviously need to keep people working on billable work. So I guess that's one thing I would have done differently—if we'd had that luxury.
"It definitely was a lot of hours, but it is a long-term investment. Before this version of our site, the previous site had been up for five years. It had facelifts, but it not only received many awards, it stood the test of time from both a design and development point of view. (We hope the same will hold true for this new version.)
"We also as an opportunity to create a CMS with new features that we can build upon for our clients in the future. So while it cost a lot of money to create, the idea was not only to build a new site, but to also develop products and properties that we can eventually monetize. The CMS will be coined FBadmin while the new search functionality, internal to the Flash application, (rolled out in Phase II) will be offered as FBsearch."